Con Artist Has Been Impersonating Lucasfilm And Sony Executives To Scam Creatives
It might sound like a story that comes out of a movie, but it looks like a con artist has been scamming freelance creatives in Hollywood by impersonating executives from both Sony and Lucasfilm.
According to an investigative piece by The Hollywood Reporter, there’s been a long-running Hollywood scam where a female con-artist has been impersonating quite a number of powerful executives in the entertainment industry to swindle money out of freelance creatives like hairstylists, military advisers, cinematographers, photographers, and stuntmen.
Believed to be a part of a larger syndicate, the woman usually sends her victim to Indonesia for “projects” and then have them pay thousands of dollars promising them reimbursements that never really arrive.
One of the victims of this mystery woman’s scams was actor and former Marine Rudy Reyes. Reyes was called by someone claiming to be Rampage producer Beau Flynn who said she was calling on behalf of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Together with his manager, Adam Handelsman, Reyes ended up being offered a “role” in Indiana Jones 5 right before the so-called Flynn asked to speak to the actor alone.
"The first 30 minutes of the conversation was extremely professional," Handelsman explained in a letter to the publication. "Then it started to get extremely sexual. She discussed how her husband Frank Marshall was never around, and that Rudy could stay in her Los Feliz home. She told Rudy that the role was his but asked over and over 'what was he going to do for her?' She was explicit in her request. Rudy repeatedly said no. She said she made Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise and will make him a star. This was against his morals, his warrior ethos — all he wanted to do was work. He fully rebuffed all of her sexual advances. She hung up."
A few days after the all, the so-called Flynn tried to blackmail Reyes, saying that he had taped the conversation. However, Handelsman shut the con artist down saying that California needed two-party consent to tape phone calls.
THR’s report is pretty long and extensive, and in it, we get to learn the terrifying scams going on behind the Hollywood scene. Thankfully, after hearing of the scam, Kennedy decided to notify Disney’s internal security and the cases have been brought to law enforcement. Though it might take a while to track these scammers down, we’re hoping that investigation firms and law enforcement manage to catch these impersonators.